Home 2013 races McEachin Responds to Cuccinelli’s Refusal to Share Star Scientific Documents…

McEachin Responds to Cuccinelli’s Refusal to Share Star Scientific Documents…

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From the Democratic Party of Virginia:

…Explain How Campaign Got Internal Info

Virginia Senator Donald McEachin released the following statement today in response  to Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s reply to a Freedom of Information request Senator McEachin made of the office earlier this month seeking records regarding Cuccinelli’s relationship with Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams:

“I am disappointed that, in the midst of these sad and serious ethics scandals, Ken Cuccinelli and his office continue to erect obstacles to transparency when it comes to his conflict of interest with Star Scientific and Jonnie Williams.

“The Attorney General’s office apparently refuses to address how his campaign got access to internal government documents that they used to support a political argument about the timeline of his involvement in the prosecution of former Governor’s Mansion chef Todd Schneider, despite my FOIA request.

“Virginians still do not have a clear picture of the depth and breadth of Ken Cuccinelli’s relationship with Williams and how that relationship may have affected the actions of the Attorney General and his staff. In my request I simply asked for the documents that would help clarify those important concerns about whether the Attorney General was putting his own financial interests ahead of what’s best for Virginia taxpayers.

“Unfortunately, instead of recognizing the public’s right to information in this matter and releasing the information, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s office responded that I would need to pay over $14,000 to receive the records I requested related to Star Scientific and Jonnie Williams. Apparently, the Attorney General would rather create unnecessary hindrances and insurmountable financial barriers rather than simply respond to real and important questions that Virginians have.

“These exorbitant fees are simply one more obstacle to transparency. Transparency in government should not be a partisan issue or even a campaign issue. Virginians deserve to know how their tax dollars are being spent and how governmental agencies are behaving. My request simply provided an avenue for that needed and deserved transparency. Instead, the Attorney General continues to obfuscate and conceal the truth from the citizens. As I consider how to respond to this intransigence, I hope the Attorney General will reconsider and provide Virginians with the information about his relationship with Jonnie Williams.”